Prefab: Predictable Price, Time, and Quality
You may be wondering why we build our houses in factories, as a series of panels and pre-cut components, rather than in the conventional way. One reason is that factory-building ensures more precision. But perhaps more importantly, factory-building ensures more predictability. Let us explain what that means for you.
Under our method, the construction of your house is split into two parts: our scope and the contractor’s scope. A contractor from your area builds the foundation of your house, and then we erect our prefab package of factory-built panels on top of that foundation, to make a shell that contains exterior walls and structural beams, floors and roofs, windows and doors, and interior walls. Once the shell is weather-tight, your contractor will use our detailed construction documents to finish the home using locally acquired materials, and install the products (like built-in cabinetry, exterior cladding and trim, and interior finishes, fixtures and furnishings) provided in our package. This on-site work will also include the installation of all the mechanical services, plumbing fixtures, electrical wiring and fixtures, as well as insulation, drywall, and trim work. Your contractor will do everything needed to get the house ready for you to move in.
It’s this unique division of project scope that gives us the ability to assure you about the price of your home, its quality, and the time it takes to complete its construction
Bear in mind that the work we do on your house—designing, preparing construction drawings, performing engineering, manufacturing and erecting the shell, building the cabinetry, supplying exterior and interior finishes—constitutes more of your house than the work your contractor will do, and thus more of its final price. And since we have done this work so many times, and since it’s under our control, we can quote you a price, down to the dollar. You get price-predictability not just at the end, but along the way: As we refine the design of your house together, we’ll be able to update you about the developing price of your home.
The price your contractor will ask for his work is not included in the prefab package cost, but his work of “finishing and installing” is relatively standardized, and reliable estimates can be made about his costs. What’s more, with our defined process, your contractor will be better able to provide you with a reliable estimate. The plans we supply are generated from a three-dimensional computer model of the entire house, and are thus extraordinarily precise. The precision with which our panels are manufactured ensures that your contractor will be applying his work to a square and plumb shell, which allows him to work more efficiently and predictably.
Because our prefabricated shell is erected in big sections, and all the structural components are precut to length, the work can be carried out in less-than-ideal weather conditions. This could be a real advantage in climates with severe weather or short building seasons. The time required to assemble the shell of one of our homes varies, of course, depending on the complexity of the design and the conditions of the site. But we have had a 2,300-square-foot home assembled in as little as ten days.
Another advantage of our process is that while the panels are being manufactured, your contractor can be building the foundation that the panels will stand on. In conventional construction, you can’t begin building the shell of the house until the foundation is complete.
Since our work is made in factories again and again, employing materials, details and processes we have tested over time, we can assure the quality of those materials and the precision of their assembly. Plus, before we do any work in the factory, we construct a highly-detailed computer model that shows, in full 3D, every piece of structure in your house, their dimensions and how they connect with each other. In effect, we “build your house twice” before coming to your site: once in the computer and then on the factory floor. This goes a long way toward preventing costly errors on site.
Earlier, we mentioned the benefits of this quality and precision to the shell of the home, but it is also important for the finishes and cabinetry we supply. We have developed a “library” of exterior claddings that have stood the test of weather, flooring materials and railings that stand up to use, and custom cabinets and shelving that are not only crisp looking and sturdy, but also personalize your home.
In addition to predictability, panelized prefab construction gives you other benefits. Here are some:
One of the primary ways a house can lose heat in the winter (or lose cooling in the summer) is through gaps in its exterior sheathing, and especially through gaps around its windows and outside doors. Our panels are engineered in the factory so that they will join-up tightly to each other. And since we supply both the exterior walls and the windows and doors that go into them, we can assure the tightest fit possible.
Building a home requires delivering a constant stream of materials to the site. When building in a city, there’s the problem of parking the trucks and finding a place to store the materials. Out in the country, the constant coming and going of trucks can really churn up the ground around a house. Our flat-pack process addresses both of these concerns: in almost every case, all the materials for the shell of an Axiom home can be delivered in just two truck-loads. And of course, you will get the same efficiency when we deliver our factory-packed siding, flooring, and cabinetry.
Waste and Noise
If you’ve ever visited the construction site of a typical wood-framed house, you will have seen the ground around the house littered with the cut-off ends of studs and slices of plywood sheathing. That’s the result, of course, of having to measure and cut every single piece of wood right on the site. Because our panels and components are manufactured in our factories, they arrive on-site already cut to the proper dimensions: they merely have to be slotted into place and secured to each other.
On that trip to a construction-site, you might have noticed one further thing—the constant noise of power-saws cutting all those pieces of wood. You won’t hear that when the pre-cut panels of an Axiom house are being erected. If your home-site has neighbors near at hand, they will appreciate your thoughtfulness. They might even invite you over for coffee.
One final advantage of our panelized prefab system is that it allows us to ship the components of a home virtually anywhere. We design our panels so that they can be arranged very compactly on the bed of a truck. These compacted loads mean that our trucks can navigate the kinds of roads that lead to remote sites. And because the loads are compact, they can be tightly covered and shipped over very long distances without damage.
Please give us a call at 617.868.1867 or send us an email at email@example.com, and we can help get you started. If you’d like information about any other information about our process and what we offer, please visit our FAQ overview page.